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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Thought for the day

When talking about laws impinging on freedom, laws that impinge on important freedoms matter. But laws that impinge on unimportant freedoms matter more.

Why?

Because a law that says you fundamentally may not say what you think or feel, own your own property, express a meaningful choice about your rulers and representatives, or conduct your personal relationships and interactions as you choose certainly represents an obvious threat to basic human happiness and flourishing.

But a law that constitutes a threat to a specific way or specific version of expressing one's thoughts, the ability to own one's own property, to vote as one sees fit, or to relate to others as one chooses, amounts to the government saying "Even this I may forbid." Certainly a government which can prohibit the most benign and superficial expression of a freedom can find justification to prohibit the more significant. And it is these admonitions, which address particular expressions and behavior that the majority do not desire, that the majority will not rise up and defend.

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